There’s no way around it — the person you’re dating probably had sex with someone else before they had sex with you. Maybe a lot of people. Maybe in wild, kinky ways that you thought only happened in the most secret clubs in Bangkok. Maybe they lived in Bangkok. In any case, if you want to be involved with this person, it’s your responsibility to get over it.

No one’s going to say that it’s easy to deal with your partner’s sexual past, especially if it’s more colorful than your own. If you’re finding it difficult to get past the jealousy, you’re not alone. The Frisky recently published a piece about a boyfriend who made his girlfriend feel ashamed of her sexual history. The Gloss had a post yesterday in which a variety of women explored whether or not they could be with a man who had slept with a prostitute. Though not everyone experiences debilitating rage when they think of a partner’s past, it would be safe to say that jealousy is something that most people have to deal with at one point or another.

The good news is, you can. We may be hard-wired to rid the world of sexual competitors, but it is an impulse that can be controlled and even used to our advantage in relationships. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. The fact that they’re telling you about it at all says something

STDs aside, your partner’s sexual past is really their business. If they’re telling you about it, it’s probably because they care enough about you to be upfront. Remember that, before you fly off the handle. They’re being honest, which gives you license to be honest about your feelings about it. Just try to be aware of when you’re sharing your feelings and when you’re irrationally blaming your partner for hurting you with their past behavior.

2. Experience = Better Sex

Dating someone who’s had lots of sex could mean they’re better at sex. Consider yourself lucky that someone else got the brunt of their awkward phase.

3. There’s nothing they can do about it now

What would you actually have your partner do about their sexual past? Go back in time and erase it? First of all, changing the past could do irreparable damage to the space/time continuum. Second, it’s impossible. If you need time to deal with it, take it. But make sure you’re not punishing someone for that happened before you met and can’t be undone.

4. They didn’t know you when it happened

Whoever else they had sex with, however many of them there were, IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

5. They may have gotten it out of their system

Just because someone has a promiscuous past doesn’t necessarily mean you have to worry about their insatiable sexual appetite. They may have been sowing their wild oats. And now they’re all “sown” up. You don’t have to worry so much about them leaving you at 45 to go on a motorcycle tour of the nation’s brothels. Or seducing the pool boy, depending.

6. It’s how they treat you now that’s important, right?

Right. If everything else about them works for you, that’s what matters. Of course, if they’re not treating you how you think you deserve to be treated, that might be what you’re really upset about.

7. Their past has made them who they are

That sincere confidence? That may have come in part by having their attractiveness confirmed in the past. It may have also come from getting screwed over and healing. Remember that, if you like this person, it’s every experience they’ve ever had that made them into the person you like.

8. Remember, this is YOUR issue

While your partner should be as sensitive as they can to your insecurities (we’re all human), they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty. Your jealousy is your own responsibility. Maybe you need to take a break and go have sex with a bunch of people. Maybe you just need to talk to a friend. But do something. Don’t just stew.

9. Jealousy can be your friend

Just because you’re jealous doesn’t mean you’re a psycho. Jealousy can be kind of hot. Feeling like someone wants you all to themselves can be a huge turn-on. Go ahead and tell the person you’re dating all about how you feel. Don’t whine, don’t apologize. You want to murder everyone they’ve ever had sex with? Own that feeling. Just don’t actually do it.

10. Be the best they ever had

The best sex is not necessarily the kinkiest sex. It’s not necessarily with a “perfect ten.” The best sex is with the person who understands you the best. It’s with the person who is the most turned on by you. Pay attention, stay open and rock their world. You’ll be amazed at how little the past matters when you’re both having the best sex of your lives.

Filed Under: